Marcus Pickering - Innovation and technology must be championed #Edinburgh2050

23 November 2018

Marcus Pickering 2050

Marcus Pickering, 44, Co-Founder and Head of Export at Summerhall Distillery (pictured above, right), shares his vision for 2050 Edinburgh City Vision.  

In the last 5 to 10 years, I’ve noticed Edinburgh doing more than ever to encourage tourism and to make the city more enticing than ever before – especially creating more outdoor spaces for newcomers to enjoy amid the bustling streets.

When I first came to Edinburgh, there was hardly anywhere to sit outside. Now, there are so many lovely places for locals and visitors. Our tourist friendly city is doing more to appeal to visitors, and it’s becoming more of a destination. With Edinburgh Airport continuing to attract more direct air links, such as the Beijing and Dubai routes, I expect tourism will continue to positively boost the economy year-round.

It’s reassuring to know that we are already planning ahead for the city. Everybody likes to be kept in the know, so I think the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision campaign is a great idea. Looking as far forward as 32 years will provide us with clear goals to strive for. At the same time, it gives confidence to businesses throughout the city, as well as individuals – not only will we know what we’re aiming for, but we were also able to input.

Personally, I’d like to see continued investment in technology and innovation. Scotland is renowned throughout the world for its innovation, and Edinburgh is its hub. We need to sustain our reputation, and ensure the city continues in this vein.  Here in the Summerhall community, which is home to around 110 businesses including our own Summerhall Distillery and Pickering’s Gin, several businesses dedicate themselves to exactly that. They help young tech start-ups to grow their business to reach new heights. Advancements in our technology offering would bring so many benefits to the entire city, so my vision for 2050 is for Edinburgh to be known as a hub that fosters this talent.  

It’s one of the main reasons we set up Ginerosity - to teach and nurture new skills within the local community. As the world’s first social enterprise gin, 100% of our profits from Ginerosity are poured back into projects that will help deserving young adults to build themselves a better future.

It’s not just a worthwhile cause, it’s a vital one.  We aim to work directly with young people in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas and help them gain skills, qualifications and training to help them enter the workforce. With this in mind, I think it’s essential that we look to protect skilled trades and apprenticeships in Edinburgh. Where would we be in 2050 if these skills are no longer available locally? What knock-on effect would this have on the city’s development?

It’s hard to know how the final city vision will change how Pickering’s Gin operates, but it’s such a positive force that we’d certainly look to embrace it. A lot of change can happen in 32 years, but it would be great to know that there is a change for good on the horizon – that the future of our city is being carefully considered, and its people are being listened to.

It’s your chance to get your opinion across, your chance to be heard. It’s vital that as many people as possible share their vision – just a minute of your time can make a massive difference. Inspire change, and share your hopes for the future of Edinburgh at